The cutest blog on the block black and white background

Monday, October 29, 2012

We love crock pot freezer meals!!!!!

Crockpot Freezer Meals=
Best. Thing. Ever.
We have eaten almost all of my first round of freezer meals.
I've learned a few things.
And it's for sure time to make more!
What I've learned:
1. I do NOT like broccoli or cauliflower in the crock pot.
No good.
When we got home from dance class that night and had one cooking it smelled so awful.
And I still smelled it a few days later.
And it stunk up my dishwasher.
We really like broccoli and cauliflower-just not in crock pot dishes!
From now on, I will do those on the side if needed!
2. Chicken dishes do not do well when cooked all day.
Most of the recipes use chicken breasts, which are just too lean to be cooked for that long.
So, I've been using the chicken dishes when I can start it in the early afternoon and it only cooks for about 4-5 hours.
3. These meals are so great to have in the freezer!!!!!
Dustin does a lot of traveling and when it's just me and the kids I don't always have time to cook something decent.
Peighton is also getting more involved with evening activities and I'm just not home to cook.
Freezer meals to the rescue!
I whipped up a few more this weekend.
The recipes I chose this time were from The Crockin Girls Cookbook.
Love this cookbook!!!!

Pictures of every recipe and most are super easy and normal-my kinda cookbook.
They include appetizers, breakfast, side dishes, main dishes AND dessert!
I might be trying every single recipe.
Frito Pie
1 lb cooked ground beef
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cans pork and beans
1 package chili seasoning
Combine all ingredients and freeze.
Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Serve on top of fritos.
Optional toppings include:
shredded cheese, sour cream black olives

( We actually ate this one last night-it never made it to the freezer!
Peighton gave it two thumbs up!)
Teriyaki Chicken
1 small bag baby carrots
1 (20 oz) can chunk pineapple
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken breasts, or 6 thighs
1/2 teriyaki sauce
Combine all and freeze.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve over rice.
Caribbean Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups water
1 bottle Caribbean jerk marinade
 1 small onion, sliced
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
Combine all ingredients, freeze.
Cook on low 7-8 hours.
The pineapple can be added the last hour but I like to dump everything in.
Serve over rice or in tortillas.
Zesty Shredded Chicken Barbecue
6 chicken breasts
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/2 cup Italian Dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T Worchestershire sauce
1 onion, sliced
Combine all and freeze.
Cook on low for 4 hours.
Shred the chicken and return to slow cooker.
Serve on sub rolls.
Parmesan chicken
1 package onion soup mix
1 cup uncooked rice (Add when ready to cook)
2 cups parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup milk (add when ready to cook)
2 can cream of mushroom soup ( Add when ready to cook)
6 chicken breasts
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
Mix together onion soup mix, parm cheese, chicken and butter.
When ready to cook add the rice, milk, and cream of mushroom soup.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Cranberry Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts
1 can cranberry sauce
1 bottle russian dressing
1 package onion soup mix
Combine all and freeze.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Serve over rice or egg noodles.
I made this one last time too and we all LOVED it.
Salsa Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 large jar of salsa
1 can black beans
Combine all and freeze.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve in tortillas.
Polynesian Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 can pineapple chunks
Combine all and freeze.
COok on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve over rice.
Heartthrob Pork
2 pound pork tenderloin, cut in large pieces
1 can apple pie filling
1 bottle BBQ sauce
Combine all and freeze.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve over rice.
I can't wait to try these!
I picked recipes that I know the kids will like and do NOT include cauliflower!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Egg Sausage and Biscuit Cups

We have a serious love for breakfast around here.
Especially when I can make them ahead of time and freeze them for another day!
These little biscuit cups are some of our favorites.
I make a dozen of them and freeze half.
Dustin will often grab one on his way out the door in the morning!

Egg, Sausage and Biscuit Cups

1 package Grands Pull apart biscuits
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 lb sausage, cooked and drained (I used spicy sausage)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

I used my jumbo muffin pan to make these.
I think they would work in a regular sized muffin tin as well.

Lightly spray the muffin pan with Pam.
Preheat oven to 350.
Wisk together the eggs and milk.
Add salt and pepper.

Technically, the package of Grands biscuits would make 16 egg cups if you pulled each biscuit in half...but I like to do just one round of baking.
So, a few of my cups have a whole biscuit in the bottom because I only have room for 12 egg cups!

Flatten the biscuit and press into the bottom of each muffin cup.
Put the cooked sausage in the bottom.
Top with the egg mixture.
Then sprinkle on the cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the eggs are done.

If freezing, let them cool in the fridge then wrap each one in saran wrap.
I've frozen them for about a month and they were still really good!
You can either thaw them overnight in the fridge or unwrap them and put them straight into the microwave!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A day at the "Punk-O" Patch

It has become a yearly tradition to make a trip to the Pumpkin Patch.
Preston calls it the "punk-O" patch.
We tried a new one this year and it was fabulous!
We went to Bloomsbury Farm in Atkins.

Peighton's favorite part was the pig races and I'd have to agree.
Preston loved the corn pit.
All ready to go!

They look kinda scared in this picture!

The big wooden tractor was a highlight for Preston.

There was a fun little train to ride on that everyone loved!

And what is a pumpkin patch without a pit of corn!?!?!

This boy loved it.

You can imagine the scene that happened when it was time to get out though.....;-)

Of course, we picked out a few pumpkins before we left.
Preston was determined to pick up a big one.

And he had to haul it in his own wagon.
He was doing great until Katy put a HUGE pumpkin in!
Such a fun day!
Now we just need to carve our pumpkins and put them on the porch!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Granola

We bought some granola at the "Horse and Buggy Store"( aka Stringtown.)
It is good but it was pretty expensive!
I decided to go through my Pinterest boards and make some of my own!
The kids love granola as a snack and I like that it's kinda healthy when I make it.
Preston and I chose a Pumpkin Granola recipe.
We like pumpkin.
 A lot.
This one didn't disapoint!
I pinned the original recipe from Dashing Dish.
Pumpkin Granola
4 cups old fashioned oats
2 t cinnamon
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup baking stevia/sugar substiute/sugar (I used the Spenda baking blend)
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
3/4 cups pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
3 T maple syrup or honey
Preheat oven to 325.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the dry ingredients together.

Mix the wet ingredients together in a seperate bowl.

Mix it all together until combined.
Spread it on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Stir, and then bake another 20-30 minutes.
I did two 20 minute sessions, and then did another 10 minutes to make it a little more crispy.

I think I should have baked it even longer.
The granola that was on the outer edges of the pan got crispy but the rest didn't.
(I will bake it longer next time.)
Let it cool completely.

You can stir in chocolate chips, teddy grahams or marshmallows like Preston!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A fall tradition

We have been enjoying the last few nice days of fall before it starts getting cold.
We don't have very many big trees in our yard.
 Mom was nice enough to rake hers up at the office for the kids to play in!
It was a bit windy but much better than last year when it was bitterly cold while we played in the leaves.
Peighton jumped right in.

Preston said they tickled him.

But he got over that pretty quickly and spent some time getting "duck" in the leaves.

His facial expressions crack me up!

He was such a dirty little boy!

There was lots of running and jumping.

And a little relaxing.

Even Zoe made a trip to the office to play in the leaves.
Although she did get buried a few times.
Hopefully we can go play again before they get blown away!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dr Seuss Playroom

I am so excited to finally have our playroom DONE...until I find other cute things to do to it....
I chose a Dr Seuss theme because I LOVE Dr Seuss.
And it's pretty gender neutral and not super girly!
I found some ideas on pinterest and just used my crazy craftiness to come up with the other things!
I made a pennant out of scraps from some of the other projects.
I used Mod-Podge to put fabric onto the clipboards.
These are a great way to display all the stuff that comes home from school EVERY day!
Currently, it's some fingerpaintings of Preston's though.
One of my favorite parts of the room are the quotes on big canvases!
I love fun quotes from Dr Seuss.
I got the vinyl letters from Amazon.
I think each quote was around $9.00.
After I painted the canvas I just stuck them on.
They seem to be staying quite well even though they are supposed to be stuck on the wall.

I also bought some unfinished frames at Hobby Lobby-I think they were $5.00.
I am NOT an artist.
So I did simple polka dots and stripes!

This one is my favorite with the chevron!

I used Amy Butler's giant pillow pattern to make these for our reading corner.
The design is very simple but those "petal" things were super frustrating!!!
You stuff all the petals first and then sandwich them between the outer layers to sew it all together.
It was just a whole lot of "stuff" under my sewing machine!

Such a comfy spot to curl up with a  good book!

I picked up this alphabet rug at Target.
It fits in perfectly!
Peighton likes to play "school" on it.

One whole wall is filled with these open shelves.
They are wonderful but I can't stand seeing all the toys everywhere!!!!!!
I had to do something.
I bought a bunch of plain black tubs at Bed Bath and Beyond and made a simple slipcover for them.

They turned out really cute and help organize things.
Eventually, I will be having doors made for some of the shelves but for now these tubs work great!

And what's a playroom without an alphabet!

I bought unfinished letters at Hobby Lobby and did more polka dots and stripes.
I love how they turned out.
Dustin was NOT excited to hang all 26 of them....and it took a couple of tries and holes in the wall  to get it right.
It's much harder than it looks to hang 26 things in a similar way!!!!!
I think this winter we'll be painting it a brighter color.
There's not much natural light in there and it needs brightening up!
The kids and I love how it turned out!
We spend lots of time in our happy little playroom!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Turkey toss game!

Rainy full of fabric scraps.....
What's a girl to do?!?!?!
Make a game for the kids of course!
I'm calling it:
and we'll be playing it at Thanksgiving for sure!

I cut a turkey-ish sort of shape out of felt (so the edges wouldn't fray).
Added some ribbon for the feathers and stitched it down onto my squares.
They are filled with dry beans I had in the pantry.
I closed up the bean bags and we now have a cute game that everyone can play!
I thought about adding faces to the turkeys....but didn't want to. ;-)

No scrap is left behind in this house....the back of one turkey has a little but of  pork on it...;-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tummy Time Travel Mat

(I actually made this blanket a few months ago but forgot about it!)

My sweet niece and nephew were in need of a Tummy Time Blanket that they could take on the road.

(Actually, my sister-in-law, Katy had seen one at Target and gave me the idea.)

Super easy though and cute too!

I went through my scraps and was able to find lots of textures and black and white prints for them to play on.
There is a bit of chenille, some minky and some super soft white fabric too!
I included lots of ribbon tags to hook toys onto while they play.
Even though there are two babies I didn't make it very big because it is for traveling.
So, they can just fold it up and go!

Peighton was talking to them while they laid on their new blanket.

And Preston likes to see just how close he can get before someone stops him!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cheesy Beef Stroganoff and compliments from the 2 year old

I am not going to claim this was the healthiest meal I've ever made for my family.
But it was good.
And after one bite, Preston turned to me and said,
"Like. Dinner."
Pretty sure we'll make it again because of that compliment alone!
And it only has 6 ingredients, if you count the black pepper!
Ground Beef Stroganoff (Like Hamburger Helper). Photo by *Parsley*
Cheesy Beef Stroganoff
1 lb. ground beef
2 cups water
3 cups egg noodles, uncooked
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) VELVEETA, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Make It

BROWN meat in large skillet; drain.
STIR in water; bring to boil. Add noodles; stir. Cover; simmer on medium-low heat 8 min. or until noodles are tender.
ADD VELVEETA, soup and pepper; cook 5 min. or until VELVEETA is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently.    

It was a yummy dinner on a chilly fall evening.
I added some vegetables and a salad and everyone was happy!

And even the leftovers were good!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A quilt in a day....

I pinned a picture on Pinterest and the title was "Quilt in a Day."
There weren't any directions because the link led nowhere....annoying.
But it was obvious from the picture that it was just strips of fabric which made a quick and simple quilt.
My kind of quilt!
I thought I'd try it out and get started on Preston's "Big Boy Room" at the same time.
I LOVE this John Deere fabric and have been hoarding it to use for his room.
I figured I wouldn't be able to find it when I needed I have quite a bit of it!
But that's a good thing because I have big plans for it.
I just used big strips of the John Deere fabric and small strips of the solid white.
If I'd had some light blue or a navy blue I would have used that instead of the white...but I didn't have any!

I think it turned out pretty cute!

I used a solid yellow flannel on the back and it's super cozy and warm.
Preston drug it to his room as soon as he saw it and it's now in his bed where he insists on using it every night.
I did get it done in a day but it's not a very big quilt.
I would call it "crib size."
I think we'll use it as a throw on his John Deere furniture and we can snuggle with it during story time!
Not sure why this is so small but this little couch is going to look really cute in his room!